Dear Love, by Salma Abedin Prithi

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Dear Love is a set of portraits where people stood with or without the beloved ones in front of my camera, and wrote their feelings around the photographs. I went from one house to another, known and unknown, met mother and daughter, husband and wife, lovers, friends, siblings and asked about their relationships. The story has become a monologue of people where someone is confronting own self, frankly expressing thoughts and feelings in an intimate space.

Relationships have complex, multiple layers but someway it overcomes the difference of class, race, age and sex and meets to a divine line where intimacy stays strong. To me it is difficult to define any relationship where I have found many contradictions and surprising connections at the same time. There are times when breach of trust breaks someone’s heart and leads to a separation. But the intimacy is still felt through an absence. Many character of my portraits stood alone in the photographs but their mind traveled to the loved ones.

While making portraits, getting into personal life of unknown people was difficult job but there wasn’t any better way than invading personal space to explore an untold narrative. I followed a diverse range of people who have different economic conditions, varied sexual identities and eventually found many incredible stories. I found a lady crying in a solitary life, a transgender deeply craving for commitment in love, a pregnant woman waiting to hold the beloved one, a divorced man getting lost in nostalgia, a determined mother raising a deaf child, a dwarf man standing in an empty staircase.

There were many people and stories that couldn’t show in my edit but also couldn’t remove from my memories. I met a celebrated figure who is accompanied by thousands but still feels alone. He meets his wife once a week with whom he doesn’t have any physical relationship for last six years. They never fight just to keep peace in life. Cold relationship turns to ice but ice never melts, only gets stronger with times.

I met a married couple Polash and Parvin, who both are blind. I took them to a park to photograph and saw them touching each other’s body just to feel loved. I found twin sisters who love the fact that they confuse people with their identical look and twin brothers who almost hate each other. There were many stories, some were witty, some were emotional. Many strong relationships were mysterious, which showed continuous complains, anger, misunderstanding, uncertainty but still the bond stayed strong, maybe because of a very simple reason.

Photographs & Text: Salma Abedin Prithi | Website: http://salmaabedinprithi.wordpress.com

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